Visualisation product guide

14 December 2011

A look at what’s hot and fresh in visualisation

KeyShot 2.2

Supplier Luxion
Description KeyShot CPU-based rendering uses interactive ray tracing that enables realtime rendering of complex materials with full global illumination.

KeyShot 3 adds an updated user interface and unique new animation system that follows the easy to use paradigm of KeyShot itself.

Instead of keyframes, a simple timeline is used to organise part animation, group and copy animations between parts, making it incredibly easy to lay out an entire assembly animation.Setup, edit and playback of the animation all happen inside KeyShot’s realtime ray traced environment keeping the scene fully interactive by allowing users to interact with the camera, lighting and materials while the animation is being created.

The animation system is particularly well suited for animating products: illustrating part movement, exploding views, and camera animations. Among other things, KeyShot also adds new specular maps, interactive texture maps, over 1,200 new materials and direct support for 19 CAD formats on PC and Mac.

CAD formats Alias, Catia, Creo (Pro/E), Inventor, NX, Rhino, SketchUp, Solid Edge, SolidWorks, JT, IGES, STEP, OBJ, FBX, Collada, 3DS and FBX (including part animation).
Price $995
www.keyshot.com


Modo 501

Supplier Luxology
Description Modo 501 shouldn’t really be in this feature. It’s not just a rendering tool, it’s chock full of modelling, animation and other magical things. But when it comes down to it, Modo
rocks as a rendering system.

From the rapidly growing set of data import tools to bring your geometry through, to some amazing assets (or in Luxology parlance, Kits) to help both model and render product concepts, it’s got it all.

In particular, it’s worth checking out the tutorial sets that are available and some of the specialist add-ons. Working on structural packaging designs and wanting to quickly mock them up? Then Modo with the Packaging Design kit will make light work of it with a range of standard caps and other features, modelled up and ready to go.

Luxology also provides the PhotoView rendering technology within SolidWorks for the last few releases and there’s much greater interoperability between the two.

CAD formats SolidWorks, LWOB, Autodesk DXF, Autodesk FBX, 3ds, OBJ, Collada. We’re also hearing that there’s more on the way very soon.
Price $995
www.luxology.com


Showcase 2012

Supplier Autodesk
Description Showcase is perhaps the hidden gem in Autodesk’s Manufacturing solutions portfolio. Part rendering system, part design review tool, part presentation and variant exploration system, it does it all. Naturally, it works with Autodesk Inventor, but also supports a wide range of formats. One of the key benefits is that there is an extensive library of materials, the application of which is simple.

The results work in both real time or the workstation can chunk away when that killer image is needed. Showcase also differs from other traditional rendering systems by incorporating easy to use tools to develop animations between different views, develop product colour way variants and full product animations.

Considering the price, it’s a bargain, even if you are not in the Autodesk subscription program already (in which case, you may well have it with the Product Design Suite).

CAD formats Inventor, Alias, 3ds Max Design, Maya, Catia, SolidWorks, Siemens PLM NX, Creo Elements Pro, IGES, STEP, Granite, STL.
Price £995
www.autodesk.com


HDR Light Studio 3

Supplier LightMap
Description HDR Light Studio isn’t a rendering system per se, rather it supports those systems that take advantage of HDR lighting schemes, which is the vast majority these days. It provides the tools required to define HDR images, tailors them to the user’s needs and then ensures that the lighting that’s critical to the success of the visualisation is just as wanted.

The latest release brings on a number of tools that give live previews as the user drags, drops, adapts and positions both abstract and real world lights, either into HDRIs or to supplement stock images.

HDR Light Studio 2 also sees the release of tools to connect the output directly to several rendering systems (such as KeyShot) enabling the user to see the effect of their work directly in the workhorse rendering system.

If you’re looking to make the most of visualisation, particularly when creating pre-manufacturing marketing materials, HDR Light Studio lets you take it to the next level.

CAD formats
Standalone edition supports OBJ and mental ray scenes - Plug-ins available for KeyShot, Deep Exploration, VRED, Maxwell Studio, Patchwork3D and RTT Deltagen.
Price £399
www.hdrlightstudio.com


DeltaGen for Teamcenter

Supplier Realtime Technology AG
Description Realtime Technologies (RTT) has been serving the visualisation industry for decades from both a services and a software perspective, RTT DeltaGen for Teamcenter is a new joint initiative between Siemens PLM and Realtime Technologies that directs integration between its high-end visualisation system RTT DeltaGen and Siemens PLM’s Teamcenter PLM system.

Direct links into the Teamcenter database allow those tasked with visualisation of complex products to pull out geometry, transfer it into the DeltaGen environment and drive the visualisation process in a much more controlled and centralised manner.

The additional PDM layer for visualisation (or vBOM) contains the visualisation driven product structure and entities, directly linked to engineering data. This then allows the reuse of visualisation entities, minimising preparation efforts by updating it only to the most recent state during development.

This provides realistic product experience as an efficient standard method in the product lifecycle – from design and engineering to marketing and sales. It’s due for release this coming winter.

CAD formats Those supported by Siemens PLM TeamCenter.
Price On Application
www.rtt.ag


ShaderLight

Supplier ART-VPS
Description Shaderlight is an interactive renderer for Google SketchUp that enables users to create high quality images with minimum fuss.

Interactive rendering allows the users to watch their image develop as they work while the software’s simplicity and close integration to SketchUp makes it easy for both rendering experts and novices to easily take their 3D models to the next level.

A simple five button tool bar lets the user add realistic lighting, materials, textures and environments to a 3D scene in a few simple clicks, transforming any SketchUp model to a photoreal render.

The release of v2 in September 2011 introduced some innovative new features including Scene Animation - the ability to create photorealistic animations direct from SketchUp, and the unique Replace Me feature, which lets users render detailed models without filling up the SketchUp scene with geometry.

Shaderlight is available to download, where users can trial the Pro features free for 14 days. Shaderlight is available for both Mac and Windows and will run with both Free and Pro versions of SketchUpversion 7.1 or 8.

CAD formats 3DS or DWG
Price £190
www.shaderlight.com


Shot

Supplier Bunkspeed
Description Bunkspeed’s Shot is a simple, easy to use rendering tools for those looking to create product renders quickly and efficiently. It will read a wide range of data formats, and let you drag, drop and adjust materials, scenes (using HDR images) as well as backplates. The previews are calculated in real time then, when the final image is required, the heavy calculation takes place.

Here, Bunkspeed differs from many of the other rendering tools insofar as it can use Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) as well as Central Processing Units (CPUs) to accelerate render times. The enabling technology in Bunkspeed Shot is mental images’ iRay.

While this Nvidia owned technology works with all makes of CPUs, in order to render scenes with GPUs, graphics cards need to be CUDA-enabled. These include Nvidia Quadro and GeForce and the dedicated GPU compute hardware, Nvidia Tesla. There is also Bunkspeed Move that provides basic animation tools integrated with Shot.

Additionally, Bunkspeed has a major investment stake from RealTime Technologies (RTT) who very recently announced RTT DeltaPix, which looks to be heavily based on Shot.

CAD formats Alias, 3D PDF, 3DXML, SolidWorks, CREO (Pro/E), IGES, STEP, Collada, FBX, 3DS, Rhino, OBJ and SketchUp.
Price $495
www.bunkspeed.com

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